This is as simple as it gets for understanding the Pittsburgh Steelers' hopes of getting into the playoffs.
Nearly every team that needed to lose this week did lose. No one was giving the Steelers a shot even a few days ago.
However, it turns out that after this weeks games the Steelers have a very good shot of making the playoffs now.
Here is what needs to happen...
Of course the Steelers need to win their next two games which is probably their biggest obstacle.
#1- The New York Jets (7-7) need to lose 1 of their next 2 games.
The Jets play Indianapolis @ Indianapolis next week. Indianapolis is playing for an undefeated season and at home, their chances of winning seem really good.
#2- The Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7) need to lose 1 of their next 2 games.
The Jacksonville Jaguars play New England @ New England next week. New England is playing for their chance at winning the division and playing at home. Their chance of winning this game also seems high and likely.
#3- (this one could be a none issue)
The Houston Texans (7-7) may need to lose 1 of their next 2 games.
The Texans play Miami @ Miami next week. Miami is also fighting for their playoff lives as well, so that looks good for us.
Why do i say they "may" need to lose 1 of their next 2???
There is a scenario where Houston can win out and the Steelers would still get in, for that they would need the Tennessee Titans to also win out. Which is very possible considering the run they have been on and the fact that they play a team next week that is already the #2 seed and won their division, followed by Seattle.
#4- and finally...
The Denver Broncos (8-6) need to lose 1 of their next 2 games.
Baltimore (8-6) has to lose to the Oakland Raiders in their final week. Oakland has beaten Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and most recently Denver this season and has a knack at knocking off good teams...especially in the AFC North.
It is very likely if the Steelers can win out they will make it into the playoffs. We will certainly know more clearly after next week's games.
What a turn around of events! No one thought it was even possible, let alone likely.